The paucity of the SNP’s plans for independence is being laid bare.

Humza Yousaf’s keynote speech during the recent independence convention was confused and contradicted by senior party members within 24 hours.

He seems intent on pressing on with an independence referendum but has no real idea about how this would be delivered. Is the mandate to come from winning a majority of seats or the majority of the population voting for the SNP? Is this a mandate for a referendum or independence itself? Ask for clarification and you will be none the wiser.

The First Minister was quick to mention in his blueprint for independence that nuclear weapons would be removed from Faslane – but with no contingency plans to replace the thousands of jobs dependent on the base. This would be devastating for the local economy across Helensburgh and Lomond.

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The people I speak to on the doorsteps or those who get in touch with my office are far more concerned about being stuck on NHS waiting lists or how they are going to afford their bills than they are with breaking away from the rest of the UK.

With interest rates on the rise again, those with mortgages have serious concerns as to how they are going to manage their monthly payments.

The strain and worry for people is very real yet the SNP is coming up with no answers to address their concerns.

Meanwhile, as we have welcomed the recent warm weather, people want to be able to enjoy the school summer holidays and days out. It will also mean a welcome return of tourists to our towns and villages.

It feels like the first full season since the start of the pandemic when we have been able to fully enjoy our tourist attractions again and welcome people to our beautiful area, including Luss, Arrochar and Helensburgh.

I am sure the businesses operating across Helensburgh and Lomond will be delighted to see tourists again and benefit from this boost in trade.


Jackie Baillie MSP pictured with pupils from Luss Primary School

Jackie Baillie MSP pictured with pupils from Luss Primary School


Unfortunately the downside of the warm weather is the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour. I recently went along to Luss Primary School to hear from the children about the problems they have encountered with people intent on engaging in antisocial behaviour in the village.

Cars drag racing around the streets, drug taking, drinking alcohol, littering and bins being set on fire are just some of the issues which they raised with me.

They are keen, however, not to turn people away from Luss but to educate them on how important it is to look after the area. These young people are truly an asset to our community and we could all learn a lot from them.

I have also recently chaired a meeting of the Luss summit, bringing together the police, National Park, Argyll and Bute Council and the Luss and Arden Community Council to focus on providing the best experience for visitors and residents alike.

Enjoy the summer!